Thanksgiving is a special holiday that signifies gratitude and compassion for others, community, sharing and spending time with those you love. Children, especially at a younger age may have a different perspective of Thanksgiving. They may see it as the beginning of their school holiday vacations, or stuffed turkey and whipped cream-topped pumpkin pie. While those elements are what make a thanksgiving fun and enjoyable for children, it is important to take the time to teach them about the values and true meaning of Thanksgiving.
Here are some fun ways to teach your children about Thanksgiving:
1.) Read a Book Together. Share an educational story by reading a Thanksgiving-themed book with your child, no matter what age. Take turns reading and asking questions and use the opportunity to discuss the importance of gratitude and treating people with respect.
2.) Explore 1621. Travel back in time and explore the journey of the pilgrims. Children can learn important historical facts by taking a virtual visit to the Plimoth Plantation (https://plimoth.org/for-students/you-are-the-historian) which is a living history museum based in Massachusetts. Their online website has plenty of fun downloadable resources that are perfect for learning.
3.) Cook Thanksgiving Dinner Together. Having your child help you prepare the Thanksgiving feast is a great way to celebrate and enjoy family time. Cooking is also an important life-skill for children to learn as they grow and develop into adults.
4.) Create Decorations for the Feast Table. Encourage your child to make creative and special table decorations that you can enjoy together. You can use a mix of materials, such as corn, corn husks, a mix of pumpkins and squash and even different types of foliage and flowers. You can even have your child write the names of each guest on cut leaf shapes made of construction paper. Get creative!
5.) Play Games. Games are a great way for children to learn how to be competitive. Some fun games that can be played are:
• Thanksgiving Trivia
• Thanksgiving Bingo with historical facts
• Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt
Thanksgiving is a holiday that is about loved ones coming together, sharing a meal and expressing gratitude to one-another. By taking the opportunity to teach children about the importance of Thanksgiving, they will come to understand the true meaning of the holiday and its historical origins.